Tight supplies drop U.S. April cattle placements 5 percent
* April placements down 5.0 pct year-over-year
* May 1 feedlot cattle supply down 1 pct year-over-year
* Marketings in April down 2 pct from year earlier
* Data seen as neutral for CME live cattle futures
CHICAGO, May 16 (Reuters) - The number of cattle placed in U.S. feedlots last month fell 5.0 percent from a year ago after prolonged drought in parts of the United States hurt crops, which led to fewer cattle for feedyards to draw from for fattening, a government report showed on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed April placements at 1.636 million head, down 5.0 percent from 1.720 million a year earlier. Analysts, on average, had expected a 4.4 percent decrease.
USDA put the feedlot cattle supply as of May 1 at 10.648 million head, down 1 percent from 10.760 million a year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters, on average, forecasted a decline of 0.9 percent.
The government said the number of cattle sold to packers, or marketings, was down 2 percent in April from a year earlier, to 1.778 million head. Analysts projected a drop of 2.4 percent from 1.815 million last year.
Analysts expect Friday's report to have a generally neutral impact on Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures on Monday. (Reporting by Theopolis Waters; editing by Matthew Lewis)